Computex Opens With Asustek 3-in-1 Leading Mobile Push

Asustek Computer Inc. (2357) introduced a notebook computer that also works as a desktop and tablet PC as manufacturers use the Computex trade show in Taiwan to announce new products meant to capture the shift to mobile computing.

Acer Inc. (2353) released details of a new 8-inch tablet computer, along with notebooks with touch-enabled screens running Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows 8 operating system. Asia’s biggest computer-trade show, a five-day event featuring 1,700 exhibitors and 5,000 booths, formally opens today.

Personal-computer makers are trying to make up ground lost to Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., which dominate the mobile sector after introducing smartphones and tablets that tap into shifting consumer tastes. PC shipments are forecast to slump 7.8 percent this year, the worst result on record, and tablets are set to overtake them in 2015, market researcher IDC said last week.

Asustek’s Transformer Book Trio laptop has a detachable screen with its own battery that can run as a tablet and also be wirelessly connected to a monitor and keyboard to work as a desktop computer. It runs on Windows and Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Tablet shipments are projected to grow 45 percent from this year to 332.4 million units in 2015, compared with an estimated 322.7 million for PCs, according to Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC.

Haswell Chip

Component makers also are announcing new products to win back PC sales.

Intel Corp. (INTC) is relying on its new power-sipping Haswell chip to restore demand. The semiconductor’s design delivers 50 percent more battery life than Intel’s previous model, enabling manufacturers to produce thinner, lighter notebooks and machines that convert to tablets. PC makers including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) will show devices with the chip this week at Computex.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel, whose processors run about 80 percent of the world’s personal computers, has less than 1 percent of the market for smartphone and tablet processors, according to research by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

ARM Holdings Plc (ARM), whose technology is at the heart of the chips running most of the world’s smartphones, announced a new design to boost the performance of mid-range handsets.

ARM is counting on competition among models with more features to reignite growth in the mid-range segment, which it predicts will swell to 580 million devices by 2015, compared with about 200 million today.

Other product introductions include a laptop for gaming from Razer, which said it’s the thinnest 14-inch computer on the market at 0.66 inches (1.7 centimeters).

Foxconn Technology Group said it’s working with partners to make at least five devices using Mozilla Corp.’s Firefox operating system.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Fenner in Melbourne at rfenner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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